Continue to promote freedom of speach and a culture of peace!
The motion submitted by the SPD/Volt and Grüne-Rosa Liste city council groups on February 1, 2024 to discontinue funding for the International Munich Peace Conference is a cause for concern. The justification of the application as a “task-critical consolidation measure” is incomprehensible. The supporting organizations of the Peace Conference ask the applicant city councilors to withdraw the motion and they appeal to the head of cultural affairs, Mr. Anton Biebl, to continue funding the Munich International Peace Conference.
The motion’s justification that the peace conference could not demonstrate any “recognizable communal involvement” does not hold water. The fact that the Peace Conference provides Munich residents with a space to critically engage with the Munich Security Conference is in itself a sign of its communal nature. This public offer is urgently needed given the lack of transparency and exclusion practiced by the Munich Security Conference towards Munich’s civil society and the public as a whole.
The presentation of the application as a consolidation measure is also questionable. The amount of funding requested for the Peace Conference 2024 (€6,500) accounts for less than 0.01% of the cultural department’s budget for the promotion of art and culture.
It is regrettable that although the motion is declared to be “critical of tasks”, it does not address the actual tasks of the cultural department. After all, one of the core tasks of the cultural department is to “protect and strengthen the fundamental values of democracy, such as freedom of art and freedom of opinion”.
This is exactly what the Munich Peace Conference is all about This year’s kick-off event on February 16, 2024, at 7 p.m. in the Freiheitshalle deals with the human rights to conscientious objection and asylum, as well as the commandment of peace – enshrined in the Basic Law, they are considered fundamental values of democracy (see GG Art. 4 para. 3; GG Art. 16a; GG Preamble sentence 1; GG Art. 1 para. 2; etc.).
We see it as our task to promote a culture of peace. The city of Munich has also committed itself to this task – at the latest since it joined the “Mayors for Peace” alliance of cities in 2005.
The approach of the proposing city councilors to pull the financial rug out from under the Peace Conference without warning shortly before the start of the event jeopardizes the implementation of the Peace Conference.
We have been working with the cultural department on a basis of trust for many years. Until recently, there was no word from this direction about any threat to their financial support. We learned about the application from the press and were therefore only able to ask the applicant city councillors for a personal interview afterwards.
We urge the 14 city councilors of the SPD/Volt and Die Grünen – Rosa Liste to withdraw their motion to discontinue financial support for the Munich International Peace Conference.
Maria R. Feckl
Project management International Munich Peace Conference
Tel.: 0160 97 50 20 28
International Munich Peace Conference
Helmut-Michael-Vogel Educational Institute for Peace Work and International Understanding e.V.
Frauenlobstr. 24 Rgb.
Organizations of the sponsoring group:
German Peace Society – United Opponents of Military Service Bavaria (DFG-VK Bayern)
pax christi Diocese of Munich and Freising e.V.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War / Physicians in Social Responsibility (IPPNW)
Peace Tax Network
NatWiss Responsibility for Peace and Sustainability e.V.
IFFF International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom
More information at www.friedenskonferenz.info